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THE BASTARD'S LETTER


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432 replies to this topic

#41 redriver

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:50 AM

What with all the portmanteaus for potential romantic pairings, for a
terrifying moment I thought you were shipping Cersei and Ramsay...


Oh please George,make it happen

#42 Keep Shelly in Athens

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:59 AM

I'm 100% with fassreiter here. It's all about the fake Arya and her escape, and Jon's covert missions to play the Game. I've argued this before, but losing Arya is a big change in Ramsay's circumstances. The fact that we get to see him respond to it with "meltdown mode" is a real joy at the end, especially in a novel that has so few satisfying resolutions. If someone else wrote the letter then the "reaction shot" from Ramsay would be impossible since we have no other POV inside Winterfell.

Although, I'm confused about this point...

If Ramsay had known that Arya did not reach the Wall, he would not have written the letter. If Arya had reached the Wall before the letter, Jon would not have rallied an army. He would have told the north about the fake marriage and without him ever leaving the Wall, Ramsay would have been destroyed politically.


This sounds contradictory. If Ramsay assumes that Arya is at the Wall, he also has to contend with the fact that Jon hasn't destroyed him politically. Because of that, he must know that Arya hasn't arrived yet. And according to the above, if she hasn't reached the Wall, he has no reason to write the letter. Unless he's assuming that she will eventually reach the Wall - he just wants to take advantage of the delay, perhaps?

Edited by Keep Shelly in Athens, 12 May 2012 - 05:05 AM.


#43 Buried Treasure

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:20 AM

Maybe we should do a breakdown line by line. LOL
Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore. Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied,
What did he lie about?
and so did you. You told the world you burned the King- Beyond-the-Wall.
I'm responding for Jon here: No I didn't.

I think you have broken it down too far here, Ramsey is accusing Jon and Stannis of together staging the fake burning of Mance. Which is actually a fair enough accusation from an outsiders perspective as they were the two in command on the Wall at the time. It's not going into full detail of how it was Stannis who wanted to do the burning, Mel who organised the deception and Jon who only found out later (which Mance knows).

Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me. I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies.
again with the lies, i get it you want people to know I lied
The cage is cold, but I have made him awarm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell. I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want his wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows.
is this a term used normally outside the NW and beyond the wall?

Everybody uses the term, even in the South when Yoren was travelling around IIRC. Not much to say here except that Ramsay is proving himself a monster (which Jon knew by rumour already). Personally I would be all for Jon marching just based on this on the basis that the NW kills monsters and it shouldn't really matter if they are north or south of the Wall.

Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it.
It was signed,
Ramsay Bolton, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.

It's the combination of bastard / trueborn that convinces me this is Ramsay. Jon has issues about his bastardy but they pale into insignificance when compared to Ramsay's. From Theon's chapters we know he flies off the handle if anyone alludes to his bastardy now that he is officially legitmate. It's plain to see is jealous of anybody who is trueborn and hates them for it. How much worse is his hate going to be for another bastard who got the noble upbringing, had a proper education and learnt proper fighting - all of which were denied to Ramsay himself? Especially if that other bastard has risen to high office whilst still a bastard.

Ramsay must have known of Jon's existance before but they are hardly the only two Snows in the north and Jon was probably barely on his radar. Jon got called to his attention by sending someone to steal Arya and having things Ramsay wants and when that happened all of Ramsays pre-existing ire would have got focused on Jon. Suddenly Jon would be the person Ramsay hates more than anybody else.

#44 Bran Vras

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:27 AM

I have made a systematic research. The term "black crow" is used by: Osha, Mance, Ygritte, Tormund, Craster, Harma and Rattleshirt. It is used exactly once by a non-wildling: by Jon when he talks to Halleck

For now. “We hold the Wall. The Wall protects the realm ... and you now. You know the foe we face. You know what’s coming down on us. Some of you have faced them before. Wights and white walkers, dead things with blue eyes and black hands. I’ve seen them too, fought them, sent one to hell. They kill, then they send your dead against you. The giants were not able to stand against them, nor you Thenns, the ice-river clans, the Hornfoots, the free folk ... and as the days grow shorter and the nights colder, they are growing stronger. You left your homes and came south in your hundreds and your thousands ... why, but to escape them? To be safe. Well, it’s the Wall that keeps you safe. It’s us that keeps you safe, the black crows you despise.”


So Jon used the term only to borrow explicitly Halleck's own vocabulary. That convinces me that only wildlings designate the black brothers as "black crows" and that people south of the Wall don't use the term. If Ramsay wrote the letter, it means that he has some connection with the wildlings (not impossible through his mother).

When one looks at the words used in the letter, there is a disturbing number of references to certain scenes that have happened at the Wall or north of the Wall previously.

false king. It is used by Melisandre to designate Mance, and again after Mance's "death" (curiously in Ramsay's letter Mance is a real King-beyond-the-Wall and Stannis is the false King, as if Stannis and Mance authenticities have been switched). Melisandre addresses the free folk:

“FREE FOLK! Your false gods cannot help you. Your false horn did not save you. Your false king brought you only death, despair, defeat ... but here stands the true king. BEHOLD HIS GLORY!”


and later in company of Mance and Jon

“Our false king has a prickly manner,” Melisandre told Jon Snow, “but he will not betray you. We hold his son, remember. And he owes you his very life.”


cage: recalls the cage where Mance has been burnt.

red witch: the expression is used by Mance disguised as Rattleshirt,

Rattleshirt tapped the ruby on his wrist. “Ask your red witch, bastard.”


and again by Tormund

When he was done, Tormund whistled. “Har. That’s buggered, and no mistake. What was that about Mance? Has him in a cage, does he? How, when hundreds saw your red witch burn the man?”


for all the north to see: Mance uses as similar expression "for all the world to see", when he is disguised as Rattleshirt, and he talks about the burning.

little prince and wildling princess: the designations are used by the black brothers at the Wall in ASoS

“He’s hungry,” said the blonde woman Val, the one the black brothers called the wildling princess. “He’s lived on goats’ milk up to now, and
potions from that blind maester.”
The boy did not have a name yet, no more than Gilly’s did. That was the wildling way. Not even Mance Rayder’s son would get a name till his third year, it would seem, though Sam had heard the brothers calling him “the little prince” and “born-in-battle.”


cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it: in ASoS, there is a dialogue between Mance and Styr in ASoS, they talk about Jon

Styr scowled. “His heart may still be black.”
“Then cut it out.”


I don't claim to provide any explanation for all the coincidences, but there is an awful lot of words in the letter recycled from dialogues in which Mance has been involved.

(I should say that red witch and false king are also heard at Manderly's court.)

Edited by Bran Vras, 12 May 2012 - 08:41 AM.


#45 kwvapor

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:49 AM

Ramsay learns the lingo beyond the wall pretty fast. I think this is a major point of concern. How can you learn all that from tea and some flaying? Is Mance that weak of a plot device to be revived just to be captured and toyed with in Winterfell. What's the point in his revival? Usually characters that rise up from the dead get better roles than getting stuck in a cage.

How much time has Mance spent at Winterfell? Is he just singing away the days?

/bawl.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bawl:' />

ETA-

I'm 100% with fassreiter here. It's all about the fake Arya and her escape, and Jon's covert missions to play the Game. I've argued this before, but losing Arya is a big change in Ramsay's circumstances. The fact that we get to see him respond to it with "meltdown mode" is a real joy at the end, especially in a novel that has so few satisfying resolutions. If someone else wrote the letter then the "reaction shot" from Ramsay would be impossible since we have no other POV inside Winterfell.


Was Ramsay ever a POV for us? We only have 2 POV in the area and that is Theon and Asha. Maybe I am confused by your statement.

I understand your reaction as a reader to the letter would have greater value if it was written by Ramsei and not faked. I am just exploring the options to gain some insight into the letter.

Edited by Censored Wolf, 12 May 2012 - 10:04 AM.


#46 Buried Treasure

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:22 AM

I have made a systematic research. The term "black crow" is used by: Osha, Mance, Ygritte, Tormund, Craster, Harma and Rattleshirt. It is used exactly once by a non-wildling: by Jon when he talks to Halleck....

I'm a little suprised that the term doesn't appear elsewhere but not shocked. The term 'crow' is certainly in widespread use, Ser Amory Lorch used it. I don't think you can say nobody else but wildlings would think to add 'black' to it, either as an adjective or a pejorative.

None of your other terms seem particularly exclusive to Mance; if he has used the term 'red witch' a lot recently it is probably because she has featured pretty large in his life recently, whereas up to now Ramsay has had little reason to think about her - or use the descriptive phrase that pretty much everybody uses about her. The same applies to 'false king' and all the rest.

#47 Catastrophy

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

Just the thought.

Mance can take care of himself and he might have made temporary alliance with Ramsay. He might pursued him to send letter to wall.
I don't think that Ramsay can read or write, he haven't had any education in childhood and he doesn't look like man who would care about such things as grown up.
On the other hand since Mance was raised on Wall he might have learned to write. He could have write letter for Ramsay with adding few of his things.
I don't think that real message is for Jon, but Melisandre. If we read between the line message could be this:
My cower is blown but girl managed to escape (with "Reek" since he is only one other then girl and dead spear-wives that is not on the wall) and someone have to pick her up.
He can't write openly to Melisandre since some maestar (or Lord) could read it, but he can hid his message in Ramsay's ramblings.

As for Stannis, he might plan some trick, making Boltons think he is dead. Ramsay can be also misinformed. Majority of forces he has in Winterfell are against him and are there just because of "Arya" and because Freys have hostages. And lies can be easily spread. Ramsay can think everything he send in letter is true and it can still be lie.

#48 ThundergodCid

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:15 PM

There's never any mention of Ramsay writing or sending any correspondence in ADwD is there? I know there's a moment in a chapter where Theon (??) is noting that Roose and his maester are sending a letter.

#49 fassreiter

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

Ramsay learns the lingo beyond the wall pretty fast. I think this is a major point of concern. How can you learn all that from tea and some flaying?


Eh... wouldn't that rather be a sign that Ramsay didn't write the letter, I mean why would he use wildling slang all of a sudden, just for fun? But I agree with Buried Treasure, most likely it's not wildling slang at all. The term Black Crows is used by people who want to show they detest the NW. Therefore it is mainly used by the NW's enemies. Who happen to be wildlings, mostly, but you can also count in Ramsay. There is no need for other people beside free folk and Ramsay to use the term, simply because they don't care about the Crows either way. It doesn't meant other people don't know about it. Yoren is one example of being called a crow by a southener.

Bran Vras, you are right that there are a lot of parallels, but I don't think anyone would be stupid enough to write a letter trying to impersonate another guy and then spoil it all by using some kind of 'personal' vocabulary. But we might be back at the coded letter idea, maybe? I still don't see a compelling reason for using a code that gives away so much secret information, but maybe there is something to it? I would really prefer that solution to anything else...

Edited by fassreiter, 12 May 2012 - 01:18 PM.


#50 kwvapor

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:42 PM

Ok, I'm just feeling out the letter.

Here is another point of concern. The word bastard, itself. As we have seen in Theon's POV, when he is Reek, Ramsay takes offense and not just that but starts flaying people around him when he hears the word. So Reek knows, yes he does, don't say that word, be careful now.

Then, we find the letter in question, with bastard written on the inside and the outside.

Any thoughts on this? I know he is a changed man, he is now legit and married to Arya and Lord of Winterfell--but you think he also changed his habits associated with that word?

#51 fassreiter

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

Ramsay, that little piece of shit, probably started to enjoy calling other people bastard as soon as he got legitimised. I don't remember, have we ever seen him around other bastards? Maybe he has no problem with the word in itself. There is a scene, I don't know where exactly (somewhere in ADWD) where he refers to a horse as bastard.

Another suspect who comes to mind for using the word 'bastard' a lot is Alliser Thorne, by the way. Some people even think he could be the hooded guy who spoke to Theon. We don't know where Thorne is exactly and he is among the few people unaccounted for who would recognise Mance Rayder for the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Although I wouldn't like that, come to think of it. It leads to cages again.

#52 Sword Of Mid Afternoon

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:59 PM

The textual content of the letter is identical to the speech patterns, vocabulary, and verbal idiosyncrasies of Ramsay Bolton. The letter reads exactly how Ramsay thinks & speaks.
THUS,
We may deduce with a comfortable degree of probability that not only did Ramsay write the letter, he did so of his own volition. Had Roose, or Mance, or anyone else really, coerced Ramsay into writing the letter, the text would be in their words, not Ramsay's.

Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, but as far as my analysis is concerned, this case is closed.

#53 LittleDragon

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

Lord Bolton says in AGOT that a naked man has few secrets, a flayed has none. Many of the information in the letter could have collected even from one flayed spearwife. Mentionning Reek reinforces the suspicion that Ramsay has written the letter, Mance had no reason to mention it, and other possible writers f.ex. Someone on the Wall would not have known about it. Using wildling words is interesting, but maybe Ramsay thought they are more humiliating than usual words, wildlings use them with disguasts and if he had flayed all the six women he had had heared thses words more than enough times. The style also evoques Ramsay. Only not understandable element is the request for Val and the baby, he would not gain anything with them.

#54 Jayaris

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

I don't claim to provide any explanation for all the coincidences, but there is an awful lot of words in the letter recycled from dialogues in which Mance has been involved.

(I should say that red witch and false king are also heard at Manderly's court.)


The skins of six whore could also be a reference to Varamyr Six-Skins.

"Seven days of battle"

Also seems like unnecessary information to add, but I can't think of any significance it could hold.

Edited by Jayaris, 13 May 2012 - 02:41 PM.


#55 Bran Vras

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 02:57 PM

The skins of six whore could also be a reference to Varamyr Six-Skins.

"Seven days of battle"

Also seems like unnecessary information to add, but I can't think of any significance it could hold.


And there is the heart eating part, which recalls the heart of Haldon eaten by Varamyr. I wondered about the seven days of battle, but could not find anything (except perhaps that Val leaves the Wall at half-moon and returns for the full moon, that is seven days. But I can't give any meaning to that, even supposing my observation is correct.)

Edited by Bran Vras, 13 May 2012 - 03:14 PM.


#56 kwvapor

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

Lord Bolton says in AGOT that a naked man has few secrets, a flayed has none. Many of the information in the letter could have collected even from one flayed spearwife. Mentionning Reek reinforces the suspicion that Ramsay has written the letter, Mance had no reason to mention it, and other possible writers f.ex. Someone on the Wall would not have known about it. Using wildling words is interesting, but maybe Ramsay thought they are more humiliating than usual words, wildlings use them with disguasts and if he had flayed all the six women he had had heared thses words more than enough times. The style also evoques Ramsay. Only not understandable element is the request for Val and the baby, he would not gain anything with them.


Let's look at the people he demands and ask--what reason he would want them for?

I want my bride back.
I want the false king’s queen.
I want his daughter
and his red witch.
I want his wildling princess.
I want his little prince, the wildling babe.
And I want my Reek.


Arya and Reek-it's obvious why Ramsay would want them back.
Stannis wife and daughter-this has to mean Stannis is still alive and he knows it, since if Stannis is dead, they have no value or do they?
Mel the red witch-maybe he learned about her powers and want to use it, otherwise, it also depends on the life and death of Stannis
Val and the baby-this holds no value because Mance is captured or does he plan to use them to control Free Folk. Flayed, the spearwives may have told them of the Free Folk's strengths. Or is Mance not captured and this is to benefit him?

And there is the heart eating part, which recalls the heart of Haldon eaten by Varamyr. I wondered about the seven days of battle, but could not find anything (except perhaps that Val leaves the Wall between at half-moon and returns for the full moon, that is seven days. But I can't give any meaning to that, even supposing my observation is correct.)


Nice catch there, something to ponder about. Just wanting to highlight it again!

The textual content of the letter is identical to the speech patterns, vocabulary, and verbal idiosyncrasies of Ramsay Bolton. The letter reads exactly how Ramsay thinks & speaks.
THUS,
We may deduce with a comfortable degree of probability that not only did Ramsay write the letter, he did so of his own volition. Had Roose, or Mance, or anyone else really, coerced Ramsay into writing the letter, the text would be in their words, not Ramsay's.

Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion, but as far as my analysis is concerned, this case is closed.


I wish it was that easy for me to accept that conclusion. This letter reeks of mystery--my curiosity radar is flashing red and going wild! I can't stop rehashing the letter from different angles and if I had it in my hand I would test the ink to blood ratio! /leer.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':leer:' />

Edited by Censored Wolf, 13 May 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#57 Jamie Lannister

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:39 PM

I think it's Ramsay's work... but desperate work. The work of a man out of options. I think he'll get his ass handed to him by Stannis and flee back to Winterfell, clutching the one straw he has left: Mance.

#58 Jayaris

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:15 PM

And there is the heart eating part, which recalls the heart of Haldon eaten by Varamyr. I wondered about the seven days of battle, but could not find anything (except perhaps that Val leaves the Wall at half-moon and returns for the full moon, that is seven days. But I can't give any meaning to that, even supposing my observation is correct.)


The only hidden meaning I could see behind this is if Barroq knew the tale of Haggon and Varamyr (the apprentice killing the master and stealing his wolf) and Mance was trying to reach out to him - Though I suppose Varamyr was one to gloat, the story could be well known throughout the wildling community.

There is a theory that suggests that Barroq warged the four Night's Watch men to kill Jon : http://www.reddit.co...er_adwd_borroq/

Which he would of done shortly after the letter was read aloud, however Mance has no way of knowing the letter would be read aloud.

In general though, the letter might seem disjointed (as in created by Ramsay) but that could easily be caused by trying to hide a message within the letter. Given that the wax is smeared this also leaves the opportunity for someone to change the contents of the letter (using a new parchment entirely) and then removing the wax from the original and melting it onto the modified letter.

#59 Apple Martini

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:09 PM

There's never any mention of Ramsay writing or sending any correspondence in ADwD is there? I know there's a moment in a chapter where Theon (??) is noting that Roose and his maester are sending a letter.


Actually, yes. He sends the letter to Deepwood Motte that Asha reads, after he's taken Moat Cailin.

#60 Sword Of Mid Afternoon

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:05 PM

I think it's Ramsay's work... but desperate work. The work of a man out of options. I think he'll get his ass handed to him by Stannis and flee back to Winterfell, clutching the one straw he has left: Mance.


My sentiments exactly. Upon reflection, 100% certainty of anything in this series is foolish. That said, I am 99% certain the author of the letter is one Ramsay Bolton in extremis.